Fire Aboard USS Bonhomme Richard at Naval Base San Diego

 In Military

A three alarm fire broke out after an explosion aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard as it was docked at Naval Base San Diego on Sunday. Eighteen sailors were transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. There were reportedly 160 sailors on board the ship at the time out of a standard compliment of 1000.

Update: The Navy has upped the injuries to 57, and as of July 3, the fire is still burning. The Navy stated that there were no munitions on board the ship, and the fire was starting to show more white smoke. (Fox July 13)

The ship was undergoing “routine maintenance” at its home port of San Diego at the time of the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but officials at the time were unsure of where the fire and explosion occurred aboard ship.

The amphibious assault vessel is 840 feet long (255 meters). It can deploy and land helicopters, smaller boats and amphibious vehicles, according to WFLA.

17 sailors and 4 civilians was the latest count of injured personnel as of this writing. (Fox)

Federal Fire requested San Diego Fire Department assist at approximtately 9 a.m.. The second alarm went out at 9:09 and the third at 9:51, according to the San Diego Fire Department.

Photos taken from above the fire showed a huge plume of heavy smoke coming from the ship.

Another explosion occurred and the fire appeared to be getting worse. As of 11:19 a.m., all SDFD personnel were all were accounted for after they were requested to exit the pier so that the foam system could be activated.

The USS Bonhomme Richard is the third US ship to have that name. It’s named after the frigate commanded by John Paul Jones. “Bonhomme” means “good man” in French, and the Richard refers to Benjamin Franklin’s “Poor Richard’s Almanac.” It is a wasp-class vessel, and assigned to Expeditionary Strike Group 3. US Marine deployment is its primary mission.

The ship carries munitions, which is always a concern in a ship fire of this magnitude. It was reported that the fuel caught fire, as evidenced by the dark smoke that appeared as the situation progressed.

Southern California Air Operations reported:

“Due to the fuel catching fire the USS Fitzgerald which is parked just south of the USS Bonhomme Richard is now being evacuated and moved away due to fire threat.”

DDGs Fitzgerald & Russell were moved with tugs, according to one Twitter user.

As of this writing the fire was still not under control. It appeared that the Iranian trolls on Twitter were deliriously happy about this event. Whatever that may mean.

Featured photo: screenshot via @engineco16


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